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It’s Game Day!

BY Metrostars Forever

It’s Game Day!

Newark is Soccer Paradise.

The best soccer fans in America live in New Jersey, especially in and around Newark. Soccer at every level breathes here every day, as it has for over a century. You can find an argument about Messi versus Ronaldo in every restaurant, bar, cafe, or street corner. A heated one at that. Every weekend and some midweek afternoons Ferry Street fills with fans of all kinds of teams from around the world supporting their clubs in Cup and League matches, and when nations play a big game you won’t have to ask who’s playing or who won. You’ll know.

A long time ago immigrant workers brought this game, the game that unites every part of the world, to American soil. The Northeast played the part of organizing this activity into meaningful contests. The first soccer league, the American Football Association, was created in 1884 and was headquartered in Newark. One historic club with proof of its near-century existence and success sits on Prospect Street near Ferry Street: Sport Club Portugues.

There are many other soccer clubs at home in Newark. The Jersey Express Soccer Club represents the Ironbound in the Premier Development League and the Super-20 League. College teams include Essex County College and NJIT, which competes at the Division 1 level. Rutgers Newark will play downtown tonight at 7:30. And finally, the greatest scholastic soccer gem in Newark, Saint Benedict’s Prep, is completing yet another astonishing season. The national champions are currently flawless with a 16-0 record. Their State Semifinal today at the NJIT field will begin at 2:00.

There is another team here. The Metrostars, temporarily Red Bull New York. The Metrostars, the team that Tab Ramos, Tony Meola, and Tim Howard built, plays for the large area full of the best soccer fans in the United States of America. The team was bought by Austrian soda and then completely stripped of it’s soul and meaning when the team itself was renamed as a beverage. The Metrostars. The soccer team. An important club which plays a team sport that represents a place, not a foreign product. A major team, not an advertising device for a very poor food product that not only tastes awful, but is terrible for you and sends a ridiculous message. Until this whole fiasco blows over, we’ll have to remember that behind the whole mess splashed on our jerseys telling us to mix caffeine and sugar with alcohol or drink it before playing sports, that there is a team that many great athletes have honorably competed for and will continue to do so.

Our MLS team is in the playoffs for the ninth time in ten seasons. Tonight in Harrison they will take on our old adversary, Washinton DC United, in the second leg after a bizarre 1-1 tie in RFK. The city will see the next episode in a historic soccer community where fans are waiting for hardware that only the Metrostars can deliver.

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3 Responses to “It’s Game Day!”

  1. Donny Says:

    What are best soccer bars in Newark?

    Reply

    • Metrostars Forever Says:

      Hello Donny,
      Luckily, the Ironbound section of Newark is a place where you can sit down at a bar almost anywhere and watch a soccer game and not have to explain offside to the person sitting next to you, and everyone has the soccer channels. There are, however, a few places that stand out as especially great places to watch soccer.
      If you are on your way to a Metrostars game and begin at Newark Penn Station, you may want to walk and begin a couple hours early. At 376 Market Street, MMM Belo’s, right outside Penn Station, you will find lots of different types of quality beer and soccer fans. Awesome atmosphere to start your game day. Last place before you cross the Jackson Street Bridge toward Red Bull Arena is Catas at 538 Market Street, where the Viking Army supporters club made their home. It’s worth it to walk past the bridge a couple of blocks to make one more stop to check out the place that the Empire Supporters Club hang out at: El Pastor at 570 Market Street.
      For Champions League action, there a couple of my favorite mid-day places to watch soccer. Food is important at this time of day. Adega Grill at 130 Ferry Street is consistent, and you’ll have company to watch the games. For a great burger (I recommend the Brick City Burger: homemage BBQ sauce, fried onion rings, chorizo sausage) and always a great IPA on draft to watch the game with, go to Hell’s Kitchen Lounge at 150 Lafayette. If you’re especially lucky, Sharon from Argentina, will be bartending. She’ll probably already have the game on, tell you why Messi is better than Ronaldo, why Mourinho would be the perfect husband, and let you know if your team is playing the correct formation or not. You have to meet her to believe her.
      For the weekend Europe games, one of the best places in town is Boi Na Brasa at 1 Merchant Street. When you come in and look to your right, there is a bar seat with the window behind you with your name on it. A TV right in front of you and beautiful Brazilian bartenders are just the beginning. The all-you-can-eat Brazilian BBQ is an unbelievable value. Skip breakfast and make this brunch to watch your Saturday or Sunday morning/early afternoon game. Soccer, Brazilians, awesome food, international culture, and value is what the Ironbound is all about my friend. Finally, there are cool Portuguese restaurants where soccer is the topic of conversation every day all day. One of these places is Madrid Lisbon at 325 Lafayette Street. Places like this is where passion for the game lives. You can see that it is a major part of everyday life.
      Happy hunting Donny!

      Reply

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